Namibia

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Afrikaans
[afr] Hardap and Khomas regions. 180,000 (2014 UNSD). Status: 3 (Wider communication). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1, 5.1, 5.5), Most commonly used as educational medium. Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, Low Saxon-Low Franconian, Low Franconian. Comments: Non-indigenous. Former official status. Not known in the north, in Owambo tribes, and Kavango and Caprivi regions.

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English
[eng] 350,200 in Namibia, all users. L1 users: 50,200 (2014 UNSD). L2 users: 300,000 (Crystal 2003a). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1990, Constitution, Article 3(1)). Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Fwe
[fwe] Zambezi region. 13,700 (2016). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Dialects: None known. Reportedly similar to Kuhane [sbs]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Subiya-Totela (K.402). Comments: Different from We dialect of Tonga [toi].

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Gciriku
[diu] Kavango East, Kavango West, Otjozondjupa, and Zambezi regions. 13,800 (2016). Total users in all countries: 39,800. Status: 4 (Educational). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1.5.1 and 5.5), mainly used as education medium in primary grades. Alternate Names: Dciriku, Diriko, Diriku, Manyo, Mbogedo, Mbogedu, Rugciriku, Shimbogedu. Autonym: Rumanyo. Dialects: None known. Reportedly similar to Simaa [sie] and Kwangali [kwn]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Luyana (K.332).

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German, Standard
[deu] Khomas region: large Windhoek community; Omaruru, Otjiwarongo, and larger cities. 11,200 (2014 UNSD). Status: 4 (Educational). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1, 5.1, 5.5), mostly as a language medium in government schools. Alternate Names: Deutsch. Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, High German, German, Middle German, East Middle German. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Hai||om
[hgm] Otjozondjupa region: Grootfontein area. 22,000 (2016). Total users in all countries: 52,000. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Haikom, Haikum, Heikom, Heikom Bushman, Heikum, Hei||om, Oshikwankala Hai||om, Xwaga. Dialects: Kede (Kedde, Keddi), ‡Akhoe, Gomkhoe (Gomaikhoe, Mangetti-Hai||om, Xomkhoe). Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Khoekhoe, Hainum. Comments: Possibly in Angola, where they reportedly originated. Traditional religion, Christian.

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Herero
[her] Kunene region: Sesfontein north to Angola border area; Omaheke region; Otjozondjupa region: Otumborombonga, southeast corner and central area. 173,000 (2014 UNSD). Total users in all countries: 211,700. Status: 4 (Educational). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1.5.1 and 5.5), mainly used as education medium in primary grades. Alternate Names: Ochiherero, Oluherero, Otshiherero, Ovaherero. Autonym: Otjiherero. Dialects: Mbandieru (East Herero, Mbanderu), Central Herero, Himba (Otjihimba, Ovahimba). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Herero (R.30). Comments: Erroneously called ‘Damara’. Traditional religion, Christian.

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Ju|’hoansi
[ktz] Kavango East and Kavango West regions; Omaheke region: north border; Otjozondjupa region: east central. 39,000 (2016). Total users in all countries: 44,000. Status: 4 (Educational). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1.5.1 and 5.5), used in primary education. Alternate Names: !Xo, !Xun, Dobe Kung, Dzu’oasi, Ju’oasi, Ju|’hoan, Kung, Kung-Tsumkwe, Tshumkwe, Xaixai, Xû, Zhu’oasi. Autonym: Ju|’hoansi. Dialects: Dzu’oasi (Ssu Ghassi, Zhu’oase), Nogau (Agau), ‡Kx’au||’ein (||Au||ei, ||X’au||’e, ‡Kx’au||’ei, Auen, Kaukau, Koko, Kung-Gobabis). Classification: Kx’a, !Kung. Comments: Ethnic autonym: Ju|’hoan. Traditional religion, Christian.

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Khoekhoe
[naq] Erongo, Kunene, and Otjozondjupa (Otiwarongo area) regions; south central near ||karas and Hardap regions. 200,000 (Brenzinger 2013b). Total users in all countries: 202,200. Status: 4 (Educational). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1.5.1 and 5.5), mainly used as education medium in primary grades. Alternate Names: Bergdamara, Damara, Hai||’om, Khoekhoegowap, Maqua, Nama, Namakwa, Naman, Namaqua, Tama, Tamakwa, Tamma, “Hottentot” (pej.). Autonym: Khoekhoegowab, Namagowab. Dialects: Sesfontein-Dama (Sesfontein Damara), Namidama, Central Damara (Central Dama), Central Nama (Nama), Bondelswarts-Nama (Bondelswarts), Topnaar-Nama (Topnaar). Lexical similarity: Sesfontein Damara over 80% with central dialects, 80% with Haiom [hgm] (Haacke 2008). Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Khoekhoe, Nama.

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Khwedam
[xuu] Kavango East and Zambezi regions: between Okavango and Zambezi rivers. 4,000 (Brenzinger 2013b). Total users in all countries: 7,300. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Khoe, Khwe, Khwe-||Ani, Kxoe, Kxoedam, Xun, “Barakwena” (pej.), “Barakwengo” (pej.), “Mbarakwena” (pej.), “Water Bushmen” (pej.). Autonym: Khwedam. Dialects: ||Xo-Kxoe, ||Xom-Kxoe, Buma-Kxoe, Buga-Kxoe, ||Ani. Minor dialect differences within Khwe. Related to ||Ani [hnh], Naro [nhr], and Khoekhoe [naq] but is quite distinct from each of these and not mutually intelligible. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Kalahari Khoe, Northwest. Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Kuhane
[sbs] Zambezi region. 31,700 (2016). Total users in all countries: 39,570. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Chikuahane, Chikwahane, Ciikuhane, Echisubia, Ikuhane, Mbalangwe, Subia, Subiya, Supia. Dialects: None known. Lexical similarity: 61% with Luyana [lyn], 60% with Tonga [toi]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Subiya-Totela (K.42). Comments: Mbalangwe applies to speakers living in Mafwe area (Maho 1998:51). Traditional religion, Christian.

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Kung-Ekoka
[knw] Erongo and Otjozondjupa regions: to Dunguati and Usakos; Khomas region: small border group. 9,000 (Brenzinger 2013b). Total users in all countries: 20,200. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: !Hu, !Khung, !Ku, !Kung, !Xu, !Xun, !Xung, Ekoka !Xung, Ekoka-!Xû, Kung, Qxü. Classification: Kx’a, !Kung. Comments: Possibly the same as Northwestern !Kung [vaj]. Traditional religion, Christian.

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Kwambi
[kwm] Oshana region; Omusati and Ohangwena regions bordering Oshana; Oshikoto region: southwest. 39,000 (2016). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Otjiwambo, Owambo. Autonym: Oshikwambi. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Wambo (R.23).

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Kwangali
[kwn] Kavango East and Kavango West regions. 130,000 (2017 K. Legère). Ethnic population: 133,000 (2017 K. Legère). Total users in all countries: 152,000. Status: 4 (Educational). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1.5.1 and 5.5), mainly used as education medium in primary grades. Alternate Names: Kwangare, Kwangari, Rukwangari, Sikwangali, Vakwángali. Autonym: Rukwángali. Dialects: Shambyu (Sambio, Sambiu, Sambyu, Shisambyu). May be intelligible of Gciriku [diu]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Luyana (K.33).

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Kwanyama
[kua] Kavango West, Kunene, Ohangwena, and Oshikoto regions; northeast Omusati and east Oshana regions. 1,020,000 (2014 UNSD). Status: 4 (Educational). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1.5.1 and 5.5), mainly used as education medium in primary grades. Alternate Names: Humba, Kuanyama, Kwancama, Kwanjama, Ochikwanyama, Oshikwanyama, Oshiwambo, Otjiwambo, Ovambo, Owambo. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Wambo (R.21).

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Lozi
[loz] Kavango East and Zambezi regions: widespread. 34,100 (2016). Status: 3 (Wider communication). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1.5.1 and 5.5), mainly used as primary educational medium in certain areas. Spoken as lingua franca by all residents of East Caprivi Strip. Alternate Names: Kololo, Rotse, Rozi, Rutse, Silozi, Tozvi. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Lozi (K.21). Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Mashi
[mho] Kavango East and Zambezi regions; scattered nomadic groups. 300 (2016). Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: Masi. Dialects: North Kwandu, South Kwandu, Mashi. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Luyana (K.34). Comments: Non-indigenous. Nomadic. Distinct from Mashi [shr] (Shi) which relates to Havu [hav] of Democratic Republic of the Congo. Traditional religion.

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Mbalanhu
[lnb] Kunene region. 300 (2016). Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: Mbaanhu, Mbalantu, Mbaluntu. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Wambo (R.214).

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Mbukushu
[mhw] Kavango East and Zambezi regions. 9,510 (2016). Status: 4 (Educational). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1.5.1 and 5.5), mainly used as education medium in primary grades. Alternate Names: Gova, Hambukushu, Kusso, Mambukush, Mampukush, Mbukuhu, Mbukushi, Thimbukushu. Dialects: None known. Reportedly similar to Kwangali [kwm]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, K, Luyana (K.333). Comments: Traditional religion, Christian.

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Namibian Sign Language
[nbs] Scattered. 8,310 (2008 WFD). Estimated 18,000 ‘Deaf or hearing impaired’ (2010 Centre for Communication and Deaf Studies). Status: 5 (Developing). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1.5.1 and 5.5). Classification: Sign language. Comments: Sign Language Education offered at the University of Namibia.

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Naro
[nhr] Omaheke region: east of Gobabis to Botswana border. 2,000 (Brenzinger 2013b). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Nharo. Classification: Khoe-Kwadi, Khoe, Kalahari Khoe, Southwest.

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Ndonga
[ndo] Kunene and Oshana regions: small scattered areas; Omusati region; Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions: east. 570,000 (2016). Status: 4 (Educational). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1.5.1 and 5.5), mainly used as education medium in primary grades. Alternate Names: Ambo, Ochindonga, Osindonga, Otjiwambo, Owambo. Autonym: Oshindonga, Oshiwambo. Dialects: Ngandyera, Eunda Kolonkadhi, Kwaludhi. Ngandyera may be a separate language. Partially intelligible of Kwanyama [kua]. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Wambo (R.22). Comments: Christian, traditional religion.

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Northwestern !Kung
[vaj] Kavango East and Zambezi regions; Otjozondjupa region: southeast of Omataku river. 73,100 (2016). Total users in all countries: 78,730. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: !’O-!Khung, !Ku, !Kung, !Xun, Sekela, Vasekela Bushman, Vasekele. Dialects: None known. May be the same as Kung-Ekoka [knw]. Classification: Kx’a, !Kung. Comments: Large numbers migrated to Namibia and South Africa due to the Angola war.

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Setswana
[tsn] Hardap region; Omaheke region: Botswana border. 5,310 (2014 UNSD). Status: 4 (Educational). Recognized language (2009, National Curriculum, Basic Education, Sections 4.1.5.1 and 5.5), mainly used as education medium in primary grades. Alternate Names: Tswana. Dialects: Tlharo, Tlhaping, Tawana. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, S, Sotho-Tswana (S.31).

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!Xóõ
[nmn] Hardap region: Aranos and Leonardville area on Botswana border. 500 (2014 C. Naumann). Status: 6b (Threatened). Dialects: Auni (|Auni, |Auo), Kakia (Masarwa), Ki|hazi, Ng|u|en (||U||en, |Nu||en, |U||en, Ng|u|ei, Nu||en), Nusan (Ng|usan, Noosan, Nu-San), Xatia (|Eikusi, |Kusi, Katia, Kattea, Khatia, Vaalpens), !Kwi. Classification: Tuu, Taa.

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Yeyi
[yey] Zambezi region. 7,000 (2016). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Ciyei, Mayeyi, Seyeyi, Shiyeyi, Yeei, Yei, “Koba” (pej.), “Kuba” (pej.), “Sekoba” (pej.). Dialects: Shirwanga. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Yeyi (R.41). Comments: Christian.

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Zemba
[dhm] Kunene region: south of Kunene river. 7,000 (2016). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Dhimba, Himba, Luzimba, Oluthimba, Otjidhimba, Simba. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, R, Herero (R.311).

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